SHARJAH // Hundreds of people hoping to work in the UAE failed the mandatory visa medical test in Ajman last year and were sent home.
The tests check for HIV-Aids, hepatitis B, tuberculosis and other diseases, and must be passed before work permits and residence visas are issued.
Dr Hassan Abdul Munim, director of Ajman Preventive Medicine, said 83,268 people were tested last year, with 366 found to have infectious diseases and returned to their home countries.
“Most of those found to be infected came from countries where the UAE’s programmes of pre-testing have not yet introduced,” said Dr Abdul Munim.
Indonesians, Sri Lankans and Ethiopians can be screened for diseases before coming to the UAE. Those who are cleared to travel are tested again when they arrive to confirm the results.
“It saves a lot of money for both the expatriates and the sponsor if he or she knows of his status in his home country and doesn’t invest in coming to the UAE,” said Dr Abdul Munim.
The Ministry of Health is planning to expand the programme to other countries, and open a new preventive medicine centre in the Ajman industrial area to reduce overcrowding at the clinic in Al Hamidiya.
It will save time for workers who have to travel from their accommodation for tests and results.
Dr Abdul Munim said 7,900 babies were born in Ajman last year, with most of the new parents travelling from neighbouring emirates to the new Gynaecology and Obstetrics department at Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Hospital.
There were 424 deaths certificates issued – 305 for men and 119 for women.